Small and Non-Profit Business Recovery Grant

Alleghany County, the City of Covington and the towns of Clifton Forge and Iron Gate have jointly established a regional $1.6 million grant fund, known as the Alleghany Highlands Small Business Recovery Grant (AHSBRG), to support the region’s small and non-profit businesses recovery efforts following the COVID-19 outbreak.

One-time grants of up to $15,000 based upon pre COVID-19 employment levels are being provided to businesses in the region to offset business impacts during the pandemic. The grant program will be administered by the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism under the oversight of a regional management team. Businesses do not need to be a member of the Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in order to apply.


Grant funds must be expended in compliance with strict state and federal laws. The aim of the grant program is to help businesses meet their long term goals by adjusting to COVID-19 demands.

  • Part 1: Up to $5,000 for retooling and technology activities
    • Space and technology upgrades to reopen and conduct business safely, including furniture, barriers, and technology such as laptops, software, and touch-free credit card payment systems to accommodate social distancing.
    • Sanitation (cleaning service and/or supplies-EPA-approved disinfectants, gloves, and masks).
    • Job training, classes and/or technical assistance such as:
      •  Protecting employees from COVID-19
      • Protecting customers from COVID-19
      • Pivoting or modifying the business model (i.e. eCommerce)
      • Training for long-term sustainability planning.
    • Part 2: Up to $10,000 in rent or mortgage relief for three to six months of rent which is to be determined based on individual needs of the business at the time of application.


Under the terms of the grant program, businesses cannot be reimbursed for the following:

  • Payroll costs incurred to maintain existing employees (i.e. job retention)
  • Relief from employer payroll taxes
  • Costs of daily business operations
  • Regular maintenance of the facility or equipment
  • Overdue/past due rent or mortgage payments prior to April 1, 2020
  • Payment of taxes, fees or any other payment due to the County, City and/or Towns
  • Franchise businesses except those that are locally owned and operated.
  • Expense(s) already covered by funds received from other sources


Businesses/nonprofits in the region meeting ALL of the following eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply:

  1. Must be locally or regionally owned, and
  2. Must have twenty (20) or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTE’s), and
  3. Must demonstrate that they were operational pre COVID-19 (March 1, 2020) and are realizing a direct negative impact from COVID-19 (e.g. revenue loss, reduced sales, closure or suspended operation, employment decline, business interruption), and
  4. Must not have already received federal CARES Act assistance from any other source for the same expenses covered by this application, and
  5. Must provide local or regional services, and
  6. Must be an existing and operating business/nonprofit located in the region, and
  7. Must be current on all fees, permits and taxes as of March 1, 2020, and
  8. Must possess a valid Alleghany County, City of Covington, Town of Clifton Forge or Town of Iron Gate business license.


  1. Each business/non-profit must complete and submit a grant application, signed by the business owner, outlining the use of funds and how the funds will help sustain business operations in the Alleghany Highlands.
  2. The maximum amount of a grant award will not exceed $15,000 and will be based on the number of full time employees
  3. Only one (1) grant per business establishment will be awarded
  4. The grant recipient agrees to undertake a minimum of two (2) hours of business development/sustainability planning to assist the business in recovery efforts (e.g. meet with accountant/banker, attend a webinar on COVID-19 related business recovery, meet with SBDC representative).
  5. Grants will not be awarded for specific expenses already covered by funds received from other sources
  6. Copies of receipts/invoices must be presented in order to obtain funding
  7. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis

Grant award levels are based upon the number of employees, the availability of funds and the number of applications received. Grant awards are based on PRE-COVID 19 full time equivalent (FTE*) employment levels as follows:

1-10 employees  |  11-20 employees  |  Up to $10,000  |  Up to $15,000

* There are numerous free programs online that will calculate this FTE, or your accountant may provide the information to you, or guidance may be obtained from the SBDC. 

How to apply:

Signed applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, 110 Mall Rd, Covington VA 24426 beginning August 17, 2020. A hard copy may be picked up at the following locations:

Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
110 Mall Road
Covington VA 24426

Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corporation
Suite C
9212 Winterberry Avenue
Covington VA 24426

City Clerk’s Office
333 West Locust Street
Covington VA 24426

Town Hall
547 Main Street
Clifton Forge VA 24422

Town Hall
401 Commerce Avenue
Iron Gate 24448

Signed applications may be mailed or hand-delivered to:
Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
110 Mall Rd, Covington VA 24426 beginning August 17, 2020.

For information or questions please contact:
Susan Knick, Grant Program Manager
Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
Email: Phone: (540) 962-2178